My friend and I were heading from Ballston to Foggy Bottom to meet some friends on Saturday night at about 9pm. Our metro car wasn’t that crowded, but my friend and I and one other young woman were the only females on the car. At the Clarendon metro stop, a young guy – approximately 25-27 – moved from his seat in the back of the car to sit directly across from my friend and me. He turned in his seat to openly stare at us. My friend pointed this out to me and we said how creepy it was.
He continued to blatantly stare at my friend’s legs and my face in the reflection of the Metro window. I looked over a little bit later – halfway between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom – and was shocked to see that it looked like he was masturbating… while staring at us. I nudged my friend, speechless, and she confirmed that that was exactly what he was doing.
His hand was in his pants and he pulled his shirt over so he wasn’t fully exposing himself.
My friend and I made eye contact with the other young woman, who was sitting directly in front of him.
Once the train stopped at the Foggy Bottom station, we all got up and I looked him right in the eyes and said “You are a pervert!,” which caused several men in the front of the train to turn around and stare at him. I did this to let him know that I wasn’t afraid (even though I was terrified and disgusted) and to make sure he understand that we all knew exactly what he looked like.
We, all the girls, ran off the train and my friend and I went directly to the WMATA employee working at that station. We gave described exactly what happened, what he looked like, what he was wearing; and she made a call. Later that night, we came back to the station and asked her if anything had happened, but she said that when she called the police, they told her they wouldn’t be able to do anything because we wouldn’t be able to identify him.
This kind of behavior is absolutely uncalled for. I have never felt so blatantly objectified simply because of my gender. Knowing that this guy, and many more like him, are comfortable enough to do this on a fairly crowded metro train makes me scared to think about what could happen in less crowded, less safe areas.
Location On the Orange Line metro, toward New Carrolton near the Foggy Bottom Metro
Submitted by MR and LM